Miss Colombia Paulina Vega bags Miss Universe title

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Miami, Jan 26: Paulina Vega, a 22-year-old student of business administration from Columbia, was today crowned Miss Universe 2013 at a grand finale here after beating more than 80 contestants across the globe.

India's Noyonita Ladh, 21, failed to reach the top 10 in the 63rd edition of the pageant held late last night in Florida, United States.

The last time an Indian won the Miss Universe title was Bollywood actress Lara Dutta in 2000. Vega has been a model since she was eight-year-old. She belongs to a big family, four sisters and three brothers.

The five-foot-nine (180 centimeter) model from Barranquilla is the granddaughter of legendary tenor Gaston Vega and 1953 Miss Atlantico, Elvira Castillo. In the Miss Universe Colombia pageant she earned the highest score possible in every presentation, 9.9, according to the pageant website.

Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler of the Venezuela handed the tiara to her at the event watched by an audience of nearly 1 billion across the world. This is the second win for Columbia in the last five decades. Luz Marina Zuluaga took home the title in 1956.

Taking the runner-up positions this year is Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, Diana Harkusha from Ukraine, Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell, and Yasmin Verheijen from the Netherlands respectively.

This year's judging panel included Cuban-American music mogul Emilio Estefan, Cuban soap opera star William Levy and Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao.

Contestants representing 87 countries competed in three categories — swimsuit, evening gown and interview. The event also witnessed a flashback showing former Miss Universe winners from past several years along with a special showcasing of Isler and her contribution in the year after winning the crown. 

PTI

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